Working in the UK via the Tier 2 Route

We are often asked by clients how they can either immigrate to the United Kingdom to take up employment or how they can remain in the United Kingdom if they are already in in the United Kingdom in another capacity, for example as a Student. One of the routes open to clients is called the Tier 2 route. The tier 2 route is further subdivided into various subjections, but for the purposes of this article we will deal with the Tier 2 General work permit.

The Tier 2 General work permit deals with how one can either enter the United Kingdom or remain in the United Kingdom by being sponsored by a UK company to work for them. In order for this to happen, a few different requirements have to be met. I will deal briefly with them below.

The company that wishes to sponsor you will have to have a licence to do so. There are currently over 28,000 companies in the United Kingdom who have a licence – called a sponsors licence, which would allow them to potentially sponsor you to take up employment with them. If the company that wishes to employ you does not have a sponsors licence – do not despair! It is  relatively easily obtainable and we assist many companies, both large and small in obtaining a sponsors licence.

Once a company has got a licence to sponsor you, they will be able to issue you with what is known as a certificate of sponsorship or a COS certificate. Without getting into too much detail, this essentially is a document that the company issues confirming that they are offering you employment. Prior to the company being able to issue you with this certificate, they would have to go through a process called the ‘Resident labour market test’. This process is basically used to ensure that British and European nationals are given a fair chance to apply for the position open at the company that will be sponsoring you. As a general rule one could say that as the company would be looking to sponsor you in the first place they would have looked into recruiting local talent first and that they could not find any local talent suitable for the role. We will assist the company with this process, which involves placing an advertisement advertising the job in question for 28 days. All the applicants that have applied will then have to be looked at by your potential employers and the company will have to justify why you are the only suitable candidate for them.

The final step in the matter would be to apply for you to obtain either entry clearance if you are outside the United Kingdom or further leave to remain, if you are already in the United Kingdom on certain types of visas. We will assist with this process and make sure it is pain and hassle free.

Some other interesting things to note, is that if you are in the United Kingdom, for example as a student, then your potential employers may be able to sponsor you without having to do the resident labour market test and you do not necessarily have to fly to your country of nationality in order to apply for entry clearance again, you can just extend your leave to remain in the United Kingdom by switching from student- to Tier 2 status.

Other benefits for people who are moving to the United Kingdom as Tier 2 General work permit holders are that they can take their families with them. Their spouse can work in any capacity they want too and the children can attend local schools without having to pay very expensive international school fees.

You and your dependents will usually be granted a visa for three years which can be extended once for a further period of three years. Once you have been in the United Kingdom and have adhered to all the terms and restrictions of your stay you could be issued with indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom which would allow you and your dependents to remain in the United Kingdom permanently. You can then thereafter apply for British nationality with your family if you so wish.